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“What is going to happen with the old empty cinema in Ringwood?”

This is a constant question stretching back many years in the town. With a new owner having purchased the building and their plans currently being drawn up, The Ringwood Society felt this would be the perfect time  for another look at the history of thing important building in the town’s Market Place. 

Local historian; Mary Baldwin will be presenting a talk looking back at the life and times of this  imposing building in her forthcoming talk entitled “From Corn to Popcorn”. The talk, held on  behalf of The Ringwood Society, will take place at Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood  on Tuesday 16th July 2024 at 7.30pm. It will trace the history of the building, which hosted concerts  in the 1960s by many major bands including Status Quo, from its construction in 1868 as the Town  Hall and Corn Exchange, through its period as a cinema during the 20th century and subsequent  life as a shopping centre and then nightclub. 

Throughout the 21st century the building has remained empty, with all plans to date having come  to nothing, but Mrs Baldwin hopes the current owners; Halo Developments might have better  luck. “Maybe this time something will happen. When people are making decisions about the future  of the structure, what is probably the most important unlisted building in the town, I believe it will  be important to first understand its past” says Mary. Society chairman; Joe Moorhouse added  “Mary’s talks are always the high point of the Society calendar and after her sell out talk on pubs  last year, we hope the public will be as enthused by an illuminating look into this treasured local  landmark”

Tickets are available priced £5 from Greyfriars Community Centre or online. For more details  about purchasing tickets, please visit The Ringwood Society website at  www.ringwoodsociety.org.uk/events or by contacting the Society by emailing  info@ringwoodsociety.org.uk 

The Ringwood Society was founded over 60 years ago following the demolition of the last historic  residential building in the Market Place, and aims to protect Ringwood’s unique character. The  Society believes that good quality design which reflects the nature of Ringwood can enhance the  old historic buildings and provide a twenty-first century town of which we can all be proud. They  also encourage people to explore the town through the use of the Town Trail that is available in  many cafes and bars as well as on-line.

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